Requested a reasonable adjustment along with OH report recommendation. — Scope | Disability forum
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Requested a reasonable adjustment along with OH report recommendation.

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HowieG
HowieG Community member Posts: 6 Listener
Hello all,
I have a situation at work which has been going on for a while. It's a long story so, I will only mention the later parts. Okay here we go. Earlier this year I was signed off work with acute anxiety & depression and had to increase my medication I am on. My employer was already aware that I was/am taking medication for this. However, a situation I had resolved with my employer the previous year and was helping me brilliantly was suddenly going to be altered and put me back from where I had started. So, this also made my symptoms go to a heightened level and I broke down at work. Earlier this month I was referred to occupational health to be assessed. This was very helpful and they supported me and confirmed my acute anxiety/depression. They also recommended the reasonable request along with a phased return and this would cost no money. The report went to my employer and I was then summoned in for a meeting with all other's that had to be present. The meeting started well and I thought we were getting somewhere and that common sense had shone through. Sadly, the meeting did not go well in the end as they said my request did not fit in with a new policy that had recently been put in place. I mentioned the equality act but, this did not change their mind. I am still off work and my employer has totally disregarded the report leaving me in limbo. I would like to say what this is all about but, I feel embarrassed for them and do not want any comebacks from them. Is there anything else I can do?

Thanks in advance😶

Comments

  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 73 Courageous
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    Can I ask what the new Policy was and if they gave you reasons why reasonable adjustments wouldn’t be compatible with it
  • HowieG
    HowieG Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    It was to do with closing a loop hole for an employee who could request a change in working hours which was outside normal working times from which would put you into a higher tier and a guaranteed position so to speak. The policy can be breached if a person could get a certain coloured item you would put in the front of your vehicle. 
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 73 Courageous
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    HowieG said:
    It was to do with closing a loop hole for an employee who could request a change in working hours which was outside normal working times from which would put you into a higher tier and a guaranteed position so to speak. The policy can be breached if a person could get a certain coloured item you would put in the front of your vehicle. 
    Very criptic ! , and not really easy to advise on when you clearly don’t want to openly talk about your situation, but that’s ok.

    However, it may be that the loop hole the new policy is looking to close has more to do with individuals choosing to change their hours and would unlikely be targeted towards those who are under the OH process and which reasonable adjustments have been highlighted.

    If you have an HR dept I would get them involved and explain the situation….i am guessing that if you have an HR dept and are under OH then they will already know of the report and reasonable adjustments suggested. The whole idea of getting HR involved is so they act as a buffer between you and the employer or manager, they also act for the employer too in making sure that they are following all policies etc and not leaving themselves open for tribunals etc.

    An employer is not obliged to accept any reasonable adjustment recommendation, but they must evidence and show why they have declined to put it in place. 
    I would email the relevant person and ask for a detailed breakdown of the meeting and a full explanation of the reasons for their decision and go from there.If you have a union then get them involved.

    Dont sit back and do nothing, you need to be proactive in getting a resolution to this.
  • HowieG
    HowieG Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    Thank you for understanding in what I was trying to do. Well, it's about parking at the workplace. A parking system was put in place and there are basically 3 tiers. The highest has the best option for booking a place and which allowed me to plan jobs in advance and without other staff members being in the way if something went wrong. Also, reducing anxiety / stress levels. I am soon going to be put back into the bottom tier which is a problem for me to start at an earlier time. This has been a problem since the system was introduced towards the end of 2020. My partner also works at the same place and has a disability. I tried to get a better tier a couple of years ago for my partner. The workplace knew the situation and that I was trying to help my partner get and stay in work without having to keep getting on and off a bus and this would have also benefited me as this was causing certain levels of anxiety. However, the workplace did not want to help out. Their solution (HR & big boss) was if you can get a blue badge that would help. My partner and I thought this was wrong and we said that's not an option due to increased difficulty levels in being able to get a badge. HR agreed that is was difficult and basically that ended there. Towards the latter part of 2022, I decided to request a change in my starting time. I was already doing this and had been for years. I asked to start at 7am which meant that I was outside of normal working hours which would enable me to be in the top tier. I did come across an email which mentioned me and this was between HR and a bigger boss. This mentioned that the bigger boss was willing for the trial of 6 months but, was not best pleased. I questioned all this with my boss who took the matter up with HR. The trial went well and all were happy with what I was doing and more. The trial period ended and I was expecting written confirmation about carrying on with the change to my hours. It took another 6 months and me reminding people of this. It was in this period that work was changing the wording on the 2 top tiers. So, since January this year I have had meetings with HR, my boss, the big boss along with the OH and soon to start CBT. In all this I had been in touch with my GP who increased my medication due to my anxiety etc. When I had the last meeting after the OH report I was told that they could not go along with the recommendation of reinstating the top tier as it was against the new policy. I was shocked again when, it was suggested to me about trying to get a blue badge for anxiety. I wasn't best pleased and replied that how ridiculous that is. So, there is a parking space if I had a blue badge. I could not reason with them and so, the situation they created and are expecting me to resolve has come to a stalemate. I did mention the equality act and they basically did not want to acknowledge this it seemed. I have been through a lot of emails, meetings etc and still not been resolved. No money has to be spent and if I needed a quiet space to go to, I could use my car. Yet another blank look on faces... They are ok with a phased return though!
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 73 Courageous
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    HowieG said:
    Thank you for understanding in what I was trying to do. Well, it's about parking at the workplace. A parking system was put in place and there are basically 3 tiers. The highest has the best option for booking a place and which allowed me to plan jobs in advance and without other staff members being in the way if something went wrong. Also, reducing anxiety / stress levels. I am soon going to be put back into the bottom tier which is a problem for me to start at an earlier time. This has been a problem since the system was introduced towards the end of 2020. My partner also works at the same place and has a disability. I tried to get a better tier a couple of years ago for my partner. The workplace knew the situation and that I was trying to help my partner get and stay in work without having to keep getting on and off a bus and this would have also benefited me as this was causing certain levels of anxiety. However, the workplace did not want to help out. Their solution (HR & big boss) was if you can get a blue badge that would help. My partner and I thought this was wrong and we said that's not an option due to increased difficulty levels in being able to get a badge. HR agreed that is was difficult and basically that ended there. Towards the latter part of 2022, I decided to request a change in my starting time. I was already doing this and had been for years. I asked to start at 7am which meant that I was outside of normal working hours which would enable me to be in the top tier. I did come across an email which mentioned me and this was between HR and a bigger boss. This mentioned that the bigger boss was willing for the trial of 6 months but, was not best pleased. I questioned all this with my boss who took the matter up with HR. The trial went well and all were happy with what I was doing and more. The trial period ended and I was expecting written confirmation about carrying on with the change to my hours. It took another 6 months and me reminding people of this. It was in this period that work was changing the wording on the 2 top tiers. So, since January this year I have had meetings with HR, my boss, the big boss along with the OH and soon to start CBT. In all this I had been in touch with my GP who increased my medication due to my anxiety etc. When I had the last meeting after the OH report I was told that they could not go along with the recommendation of reinstating the top tier as it was against the new policy. I was shocked again when, it was suggested to me about trying to get a blue badge for anxiety. I wasn't best pleased and replied that how ridiculous that is. So, there is a parking space if I had a blue badge. I could not reason with them and so, the situation they created and are expecting me to resolve has come to a stalemate. I did mention the equality act and they basically did not want to acknowledge this it seemed. I have been through a lot of emails, meetings etc and still not been resolved. No money has to be spent and if I needed a quiet space to go to, I could use my car. Yet another blank look on faces... They are ok with a phased return though!
    Sorry I asked now ( joking)…..What a complicated system your employer uses, I have read through your reply several times and feel sorry that something so trivial has become a problem.

    Do you have union representation at all ?

    Did OH report state that your illness would likely fall under the disability act ?

    My advice for what it’s worth would be to ask for mediation. The situation isn’t going to resolve itself and as you state, it has become a stalemate situation. As it stands that’s not good for you or your employer and needs to be resolved.

    Failing mediation then think about using the formal grievance procedure route. Employees don’t usually like going down this route as they can often feel like they are rocking the boat a bit, but what this does is highlight to your employer that you have a concern, gives you the opportunity to have your say ( important to stick to the facts and not make things personal ) and allows and to a degree forces your employer to have to evidence their reasoning in declining the OH suggestion.

    make sure that everything is noted and recorded.

    Not much help really




  • HowieG
    HowieG Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 73 Courageous
    Options
    HowieG said:
    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
    HowieG said:
    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
    Hi again,

    It seems to me that this whole situation has been blown out of all proportion by the employer.

    It also seems to me like your bosses are scared of rocking the boat with other employees rather than being proactive to help in your situation….it strikes me as extremely poor management skill set…..part of being an effective manager is managing people and often handling sensitive situations.The clue is in the name…manager!

    Upsetting others has nothing to do with it. You are applying because you have a medical condition that causes you issues and on the back of this have OH in your corner stating reasonable adjustments and highlighting the fact that you likely fall under the equality act.

    Yes policies are helpful but they are a guide, your absence management policy is also a guide which will include how they handle reasonable adjustments. Is the new policy more important than any other policy…no.

    My work had specific policies for the role I was in, so normally I would be expected to be fit enough to do x, y and z…..On the back of my OH reports, reasonable adjustments were put in place for a period of time that meant that I could only do x and y….no loss of productivity etc, just an adjustment that kept me at work. 

    Every case for reasonable adjustments is supposed to be taken on its own merits, if others want to apply and have the evidence to support an application then they are free to do so. There should be no correlation between your needs and the needs of others.

    I would raise a formal grievance as it seems that the poor management style is working against you and I very much doubt that there will be movement on the issue until you do.

    I would also be having a new conversation with your union, if you pay a fee to be in a union then from day 1 you are entitled to access their services.

    Its a good job I’m not the head boss of this company as there would be serious (pleasant) discussions being had with individuals

    keep us all in the loop

    take it easy

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,081 Scope online community team
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    Heya @HowieG and welcome to the community. :)

    That sounds like quite the battle you've had!  But yes, this is all covered under the 2010 Equality Act, so your work will need to show why they've not accepted your reasonable adjustments.  Have you spoken to anyone from ACAS?  They could certainly be of help here. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • HowieG
    HowieG Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Options
    Thank you for replying. It has been a frustrating time and have grown tired of the situation and the unwillingness of my employer to put an end to the silliness. I have not spoken to anyone at acas. When I joined a union in January, I didn't realise that they would be unable to assist with my situation. I must admit, I found that frustrating too...
  • HowieG
    HowieG Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Options
    Bydand said:
    HowieG said:
    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
    HowieG said:
    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
    Hi again,

    It seems to me that this whole situation has been blown out of all proportion by the employer.

    It also seems to me like your bosses are scared of rocking the boat with other employees rather than being proactive to help in your situation….it strikes me as extremely poor management skill set…..part of being an effective manager is managing people and often handling sensitive situations.The clue is in the name…manager!

    Upsetting others has nothing to do with it. You are applying because you have a medical condition that causes you issues and on the back of this have OH in your corner stating reasonable adjustments and highlighting the fact that you likely fall under the equality act.

    Yes policies are helpful but they are a guide, your absence management policy is also a guide which will include how they handle reasonable adjustments. Is the new policy more important than any other policy…no.

    My work had specific policies for the role I was in, so normally I would be expected to be fit enough to do x, y and z…..On the back of my OH reports, reasonable adjustments were put in place for a period of time that meant that I could only do x and y….no loss of productivity etc, just an adjustment that kept me at work. 

    Every case for reasonable adjustments is supposed to be taken on its own merits, if others want to apply and have the evidence to support an application then they are free to do so. There should be no correlation between your needs and the needs of others.

    I would raise a formal grievance as it seems that the poor management style is working against you and I very much doubt that there will be movement on the issue until you do.

    I would also be having a new conversation with your union, if you pay a fee to be in a union then from day 1 you are entitled to access their services.

    Its a good job I’m not the head boss of this company as there would be serious (pleasant) discussions being had with individuals

    keep us all in the loop

    take it easy

    Thank you for your input. It is appreciated. I did mention that what I was asking for was on my merits and no one else. I did stress that fact more than once! As for the union, I feel that they are as much use as a chocolate fire guard.

    Thanks again!
  • Cressida
    Cressida Community member Posts: 1,016 Pioneering
    Options
    Bydand said:
    HowieG said:
    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
    HowieG said:
    It is a stupid system and favours certain staff over others.

    I do belong to a union but, unfortunately when I joined them in January they could not help me because it was something that was already in motion and I hadn't been a member long enough. 

    OH thought my situation would be covered under the equality act 2010.

    The last meeting I had was like a mediation meeting going over the report and asking me what I would like from the meeting. That's where I was told that letting me have the top tier was against the new policy and that can not be changed as they fear others will want the same. Of course, I didn't agree with them. That's when I was asked if I had tried applying for a blue badge. If I had a badge that would allow me to have a space. It's a pathetic situation that has me and people I have spoken to about this thinking what the hell! I did mention this to my GP and he thinks that I would not be able to get a blue badge.

    So the saga continues...

    Thank you for replying 👍
    Hi again,

    It seems to me that this whole situation has been blown out of all proportion by the employer.

    It also seems to me like your bosses are scared of rocking the boat with other employees rather than being proactive to help in your situation….it strikes me as extremely poor management skill set…..part of being an effective manager is managing people and often handling sensitive situations.The clue is in the name…manager!

    Upsetting others has nothing to do with it. You are applying because you have a medical condition that causes you issues and on the back of this have OH in your corner stating reasonable adjustments and highlighting the fact that you likely fall under the equality act.

    Yes policies are helpful but they are a guide, your absence management policy is also a guide which will include how they handle reasonable adjustments. Is the new policy more important than any other policy…no.

    My work had specific policies for the role I was in, so normally I would be expected to be fit enough to do x, y and z…..On the back of my OH reports, reasonable adjustments were put in place for a period of time that meant that I could only do x and y….no loss of productivity etc, just an adjustment that kept me at work. 

    Every case for reasonable adjustments is supposed to be taken on its own merits, if others want to apply and have the evidence to support an application then they are free to do so. There should be no correlation between your needs and the needs of others.

    I would raise a formal grievance as it seems that the poor management style is working against you and I very much doubt that there will be movement on the issue until you do.

    I would also be having a new conversation with your union, if you pay a fee to be in a union then from day 1 you are entitled to access their services.

    Its a good job I’m not the head boss of this company as there would be serious (pleasant) discussions being had with individuals

    keep us all in the loop

    take it easy

    If you already have a problem with your employer, pre-existing the point of joining, there is a waiting period after you join and before you can raise the issue.

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